July 14, 2018

cocoa and pajamas

On the weekends, I wash my hair in the mornings and let it mostly air dry before styling it.  It gets frizzy and falls just-so and I end up with my better hair days this way.  There isn't time on work mornings to do it.  I manage as well as I can with the hair dryer.

This morning I watched the sunrise and then washed my hair in the shower.  Lathering the shampoo made me wince and I suddenly recalled last night.  Shit.  How bad is it?

I felt my face with gentle fingers.  Eyes bad.  Jawline a little sore.  Head very sore.  Ice.  I iced it last night.  Ice pack.  The water stings.

I still don't remember what set it off.  I only know that it had been building as a low, rumbling pressure for two days, since finding out I had hurt two people I care about and quite possibly made an enemy of one of them.  The pressure bore down upon the tiny girl in me who knew she had done something wrong and was in trouble now and was going to be punished through some unseen terror sufficient to bring annihilatory impulse back into the picture.  A growing wave unstemmed by logical, rational consideration of the circumstances.  I remember finally breaking down into tears, succumbing to the pressure, being overwhelmed by it, and finding myself sprawled on the bed clutching the sheets, gasping for air after crying and repeatedly slapping myself so hard that I saw bursts of light, hitting my head, trying to tear out great clumps of hair.

The punishment must be administered.  No little girl can run away from it.  And if the judge, the inflictor, isn't there, the girl has to do it herself.  The punishment must be administered.

Afterward, I came out of the bedroom in my too-big nightgown and slowly walked over to P.J. like a small child, let her take me into her always-forgiving arms.  I comforted Rose because she was beaten, too, and does not understand when this happens.  P.J. made me a mug of hot cocoa and pressed it into my hand.  My breathing was smooth and even again.  She led me to bed.

I dried off after my morning shower and inspected myself in the mirror under brighter lighting, and let out a low sigh of relief.  Just some dot-prickle bruising beside each eye, worse on the right, and the swelling invisible unless you really try to see the differences between left and right.  The marks will be gone by Monday morning.

I put some gel in my hair so after I mussed it up into a wet mop parted on the left, it would stay messy and fall around my face, hiding the speckle-bruised skin around my eyes.  I made a mug of coffee and stood in my pajamas and watched the sky lighten, not so afraid of what will come.  I have paid.

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